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Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many under 25 year olds were not in employment, education or training in (a) England, (b) Northamptonshire and (c) Kettering in each of the last five years. 
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about young people not in education, training or employment. I am replying in her absence. (160598)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles statistics for local areas from the annual local area Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the Annual Population Survey (APS) following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions.
The table attached shows the numbers of 16 to 24 year olds not in full-time education, employment or training, resident in the Kettering constituency, Northamptonshire county and England. Estimates are provided from the local area LFS for the 12 months ending in February, for 2003 and 2004, and from the APS for the 12 months ending in March, for 2005 to 2007. The table also shows these numbers as the percentage of all 16 to 24
year olds in the areas, for each year, which allows changes to be seen in the context of changing population numbers.
Estimates for a subset of the population in a small geographical area are based on very small sample sizes, and are therefore subject to large margins of uncertainty. Changes over time should be treated with particular caution.
|Persons aged 16 to 24 who are not in full-time education, employment or training resident in the Kettering constituency, Northamptonshire county and England|
|12 months ending:||Number||Percentage of all 16 to 24-year olds||Number||Percentage of all 16 to 24-year olds||Number||Percentage of all 16 to 24-year olds|
|(1) Sample size too small to provide estimates.|
1. Estimates are subject to sampling variability.
2. Changes in the estimates over time should be treated with caution.
Annual local area Labour Force Survey; Annual Population survey.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether there is a value at which a tax credit overpayment would be considered unreasonable in a situation in which there was no official error and the claimant had notified HM Revenue and Customs of the relevant change of circumstance. 
I announced to the House on 18 October 2007, Official Report, column 944, that as part of that, HMRC will be replacing the reasonable belief test with a clearer test that will set out customers responsibilities for checking factual information.
(2) how many tax credits overpayments waived were worth (a) under £1,000, (b) £1,000 to £1,999, (c) £2,000 to £2,999, (d) £3,000 to £3,999, (e) £4,000 to £4,999, (f) £5,000 to £5,999, (g) £6,000 to £6,999, (h) £7,000 to £7,999, (i) £8,000 to £8,999, (j) £9,000 to £9,999 and (k) over £10,000 in the financial year (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05, (iii) 2005-06 and (iv) 2006-07. 
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions one unit of HM Revenue and Customs has indicated an intention to take court action, a claimant who had already reached a repayment agreement with another unit of HM Revenue and Customs in relation to a tax credit overpayment. 
Jane Kennedy: The information is not available. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has processes in place to prevent different actions taking place on the same debt and if this occurred in error would only record such an incident on the individual case.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions tax credit claimants who had submitted documentary evidence of their wage have had their income registered as nil by HM Revenue and Customs and subsequently been overpaid. 
Jane Kennedy: The information requested is not available. Guidance notes included in tax credits claim packs and notes which accompany annual declaration forms provide step by step instructions telling customers how to calculate their income for tax credits purposes and where to record it on their forms.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether a programme similar to that for Iraqi staff will be established to recognise local Afghan staff working for the British Government in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: Locally engaged Afghan staff working for our armed forces and civilian missions in Afghanistan have made an invaluable contribution to the UKs efforts to help support the spread of security, stability and development in their country. We acknowledge their contribution with gratitude. But given the difference in circumstances between them and their colleagues in Iraq, there are no plans for a similar scheme of assistance.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with countries with a territorial interest in the Arctic on potential claims; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not had any discussions with countries with a territorial interest in the Arctic on the subject of potential claims which they may make in the region. States parties to the UN convention on the law of the sea may be entitled to claim an extended continental shelf beyond their territorial waters, subject to certain geological conditions, as defined in the convention.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the areas where the UK has plans to stake territorial claims; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: The UK has so far made one claim to the UN Commission on the limits of the continental shelf (CLCS) for the extension of the continental shelf under Article 76 of the UN convention of the law of the sea. We are also considering lodging up to four more claims before the right to do so expires in May 2009.
The UK has submitted a claim, jointly with France, Ireland and Spain, for an area of the Bay of Biscay, and this is currently under consideration by the CLCS. The UK is also considering the potential submission of claims for the areas around the Ascension Islands, off the British Antarctic Territory, around the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, and in the Hatton/Rockall area.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of the impact of the increase in poppy cultivation in Burma on peace and security in the region; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported an increase in poppy cultivation in Burma of 29 per cent. in 2007, from 21,500 hectares to 27,700 hectares. This follows six years of decrease. Cultivation is concentrated in South Shan State, which accounts for 90 per cent. of opium grown in Burma. Most of the poppy-growing areas are outside government control.
The UK has not made any assessment on the impact on peace and security in the region. However, UNODC assess that where drug-growing areas and insecurity overlap, the activity of criminal groups can add to instability by trying to control poppy farming and using drugs to fund their operations. The need for sustained alternative development programmes for the poor communities to help them turn to a legal income is therefore essential to ensure that cultivation in Burma is reduced.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations his Department has made to the governments of (a) China, (b) Russia, (c) India and (d) France on their economic ties with the Burmese military government. 
Meg Munn: We regularly raise our concerns about Burma with international partners, explaining why we support targeted economic measures to press the regime to change policy and highlighting the wider benefits of a democratic and stable Burma for the region. We have raised the situation with the Chinese, Russian, Indian and French governments. They are aware of our concerns regarding Burma.
Meg Munn: We do not actively monitor business activities in Burma. However, we do follow reports on such activities produced by the UN, non-governmental organisations and other organisations. We monitor the level of UK corporate activities through statistics from the Office for National Statistics and Her Majestys Revenue and Customs, which show that trade and investment in Burma has fallen in recent years.
In terms of total imports of goods from Burma, the UK currently ranks second in the EU after Germany. However, the value of imports from Burma to the UK halved between 2004 and 2005. In the first eight months of 2007 the UK imported £19 million worth of goods from Burma and exported £2 million.
The UK has been working hard with its partners in the EU on further restrictions on commercial engagement with Burma to reduce funding sources available to the regime. EU Foreign Ministers met on 15 October and agreed to strengthen measures against the regime. The new measures include an export ban on equipment to the sectors of logs and timber and mining of metals, minerals, precious and semi precious stones; an import ban of products of the sectors mentioned before; and an investment ban in these sectors.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of his meetings with the Indian Minister for External Affairs on 3 October and the Chinese Foreign Minister on 29 September on the situation in Burma. 
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met with Indian Minister for External Affairs, Mr. Prunab Mukherjee, on 3 October, to
discuss the situation in Burma, among other issues. The External Affairs Minister agreed that a process of political reform and national reconciliation must begin in Burma to bring stability and prosperity to the country.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister also raised Burma in a telephone conversation with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as did my noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, the right hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, during his recent visit to India.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang on 29 September in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. He underlined the need to work closely with China on the issue of Burma, including giving full support to Professor Gambari's mission.
China is in a unique position to help positive political change in Burma. To that end, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister discussed Burma with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have kept in touch since with their Chinese opposite numbers by phone and by letter.
Mr. Benyon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many representations the Government have received from UK ambassadors and high commissioners since 25 July on arrangements in Government for defence exports. 
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to guarantee the security of the civilian Tutsi community of eastern DRC during and after the military operations in the area. 
My noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, the right hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, met a delegation of advisers to President Kabila in London on 13 September and spoke to President Kabila at the UN on 26 September. On both occasions he encouraged the Congolese Government to continue to look for a political solution to the problems affecting the east of the country rather than take a solely military approach, and to ensure the security of the local population.
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